As someone with baby-fine locks, I've never been one for a hair mask. The deep conditioning treatments usually weigh my strands down and instead of treating dryness or damage, leave me looking greasy. But after setting a personal goal to grow said strands past my shoulders, I decided to give the Virtue Labs Restorative Treatment Mask a try. Why this brand? Because, like many questionable purchases, I saw it in an Instagram ad. It also said "two to three minutes" on the packaging, and I'm a sucker for instant gratification.
The brand touts its proprietary Alpha Keratin 60ku—a protein that supposedly mimics the hair structure and heals by binding to areas of damage—as the active ingredient in the for-all-hair-types hydrating mask. Science-y! If all went as planned, I was going to exit my shower with a shinier, stronger, bouncier head of hair in three minutes, tops, thanks to this ingredient.
I shampooed, conditioned, rinsed and opened the small blue jar. The mask smelled strong, floral and a little bit sweet—not my usual cup of tea, but I persisted, applying from root to ends. I estimated three minutes, rinsed thoroughly and went about my routine (air drying and brushing). No wet seal look so far…a good sign.
Here's how I was convinced of success: All day long, I couldn't stop touching my hair. It was soft, light and fluffy. Hooked on a feeling, I wanted to use the mask again the next day, and the day after that. At $30 for a 2 ounce jar, it’s not exactly cheap, so I limited myself to once a week to make it last.
Instant gratification aside, after two months of weekly masking, my hair is the longest it's ever been (with no sign of split ends and significantly more hydration). Whether it’s the Alpha Keratin 60ku or just the extra pampering, the jury is out. If you’re looking for a treat-yourself hair mask, you could probably find something cheaper. But if you want the strands of a prize-winning golden retriever, I highly recommend.